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Mr. Sunil J. Varma Adult, Indian Inhabitant, & Ors vs. The City and Industrial Development Corporation Ltd & Ors dated 2012-10-09

 

NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
NEW DELHI
 
 
 
REVISION PETITION NO.2101 OF 2012
(Against the order dated 29.03.2012 in First Appeal No.A/11/466 of the State Commission, Maharashtra)
 
1. Mr. Sunil J. Varma
Adult, Indian Inhabitant,
Residing at Flat No.101, 1st floor,
Anita Villa, Plot No.125, Sector 9
New Panvel (E) Navi Mumbai
 
2. Mr.Mahadev G. Bhunesar
Adult, Indian Inhabitant,
Residing at Flat No.102, 1st floor,
Anita Villa, Plot No.125, Sector 9
New Panvel (E) Navi Mumbai 
 
3. Mr.Tarun A. Khanna
Adult, Indian Inhabitant,
Residing at Flat No.201, 2nd floor,
Anita Villa, Plot No.125, Sector 9
New Panvel (E) Navi Mumbai
 
4. Mrs. Saroj Bala Yadav
Adult, Indian Inhabitant,
Residing at Flat No.202, 2nd  floor,
Anita Villa, Plot No.125, Sector 9
New Panvel (E) Navi Mumbai
 
5. Mr.Kaushal K. Tiwari
 
6. Mrs.Anju Tiwari,
Both adults, Indian Inhabitants,
Residing at Flat No.301, 3rd  floor,
Anita Villa, Plot No.125, Sector 9
New Panvel (E) Navi Mumbai 
 
7. Mr. David Nesaraj
 
8. Mrs. Grace Nesaraj
Both adults, Indian Inhabitants,
Residing at Flat No.302, 3rd  floor,
Anita Villa, Plot No.125, Sector 9
New Panvel (E) Navi Mumbai                                                                                                                                                             ……….Petitioners
 
Versus
 
1. The City and Industrial Development
Corporation Ltd., a Company registered
Under the Companies Act, 1956
Having its regional office at CIDCO
Bhavan, C.B.D. Belapur, Navi Mumbai
 
2. Mrs. Anita Khandelwal
Having office at 154/155,
Central Facility Building, APMC
Market-I, Phase-II, Sector 19, Turbhe                                                                                                                                                 .........Respondents  
Navi Mumbai                                                                                                          
 
 
BEFORE
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE  J. M. MALIK,
                              PRESIDING MEMBER
HON’BLE MR. VINAY KUMAR, MEMBER
 
 
For the Petitioners         :   Mr. Onkar Gupte, Advocate
                                          For GP Law & Associates
 
 
PRONOUNCED ON: 09.10.2012.
 
 
ORDER
 
 
 
PER MR.VINAY KUMAR, MEMBER
The revision petitioners were Complainants before the District Forum Thane, in Complaint No.184 of 2009.  The complaint was allowed by the District Forum, which inter alia directed the two opposite parties to form the cooperative society of the residents and execute the conveyance deed in its favour.  The OPs were also directed to pay compensation Rs.5 lakhs each to the Complainants.  One of the directions also required OP-2 City and Industrial Development Corporation Ltd. Maharashtra (CIDCO) to regularize the irregular construction and not demand any charges from the Complainants.  The appeal filed by OP-2/CIDCO, was allowed by the Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and the consumer complaint, as against CIDCO, was dismissed. 
 
 
 
2.      The revision petition seeks to challenge the above order of the State Commission with a prayer to set the impugned order aside and restore the order passed by the District Forum.  We have perused the records and heard Mr. Onkar Gupte, Advocate on behalf of the revision petitioners.  Learned counsel argued that the approval for construction was given by CIDCO. He also referred to the observations of the District Forum that OP-2 appears to have themselves encouraged unauthorised constructions and OP-2 had not clarified why permission for constructing residential and commercial unit was granted when the plot was reserved as a bungalow plot.
 
 
 
3.      It will be seen from the above that the District Forum has held CIDCO liable for deficiency of service.  In this behalf, it needs to be noted that in their written response before the District Forum CIDCO has clearly taken a plea that privity of contract, in respect of the plot on which these structures were raised, existed only between CIDCO and Mrs. Khandelwal.  There was no such privity of contract between CIDCO and the Complainants.  Therefore, as per the written response of CIDCO, within the meaning of the Consumer Protection Act, CIDCO was not a service provider to the Complainants. Nor were the Complainants consumers of CIDCO.  This contention of CIDCO was rejected by the District Forum observing that:-
 
“The Forum is of the opinion that the Opposite Party No.1 alone cannot be held responsible and the Opposite Party No.2 is also responsible because it is their obligation to see that the Plot is developed in the proper manner.  Indirectly the purchaser is their consumer also because water, development charges are paid by the purchasers and as the main developer it is their obligation to provide the Complainants proper service and in view thereof the Forum is of the opinion that there is a relationship of consumer with the Opposite Party No.2.”   
 
4.      The State Commission has taken the view that in matters arising out of the agreement between CIDCO and the builders/Smt. Anita Khandelwal, no direction could be issued to the Local Authority like CIDCO, in the course of settlement of these consumer disputes.  The State Commission has observed:- 
 
“In fact such direction to do or not to do since does not fall within the ambit of Section 14 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986, cannot be given.  There is no privity of contract between the CIDCO and these complainants.  Under the circumstance, there is no relationship of a consumer and service provider between the complainants and CIDCO.  For this reason also no consumer dispute as between them could be entertained.  The Forum exceeded its jurisdiction in entertaining the consumer dispute against the CIDCO and to give the impugned directions to which a reference is made earlier.  In fact there arise no question of any unfair trade practice followed by the CIDCO within the meaning of Section 2(1) (r) of Consumer Protection Act, 1986.  For the reasons we find it difficult to support the impugned order as far as appellant/CIDCO is concerned.”
 
 
 
5.      In our view the decision of the State Commission is completely in line with the definition of the term ‘consumer’ under Section 2(1) (d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.  In terms of this provision, for the relationship of consumer and service provider to exists between the Complainants, on the one hand and the CIDCO on the other, there has to be a ‘service’ rendered by CIDCO to the Complainants for a ‘consideration’, paid or to be paid.  A perusal of the complaint petition itself would more than clarify that there is no hiring of service and payment of consideration therefor, between the Complainants and the CIDCO.  The entire complaint is based on matters arising from an agreement of lease between OP-1 and OP-2. There is no agreement/contract of any service between the Complainants and CIDCO.  The complaint petition itself mentions OP-1 as promoter of the building and OP-2/CIDCO as the town planning authority. 
 
 
 
6.      Therefore, in our view, the State Commission has rightly held that there is no relationship of consumer and service provider between the Complainants and the CIDCO.  The decision of the State Commission is based on correct appreciation of the evidence on record.  Consequently, the revision petition is held to be without merit and is dismissed as such.  No order as to costs.
 
.……………Sd/-……………
(J. M. MALIK, J.)
PRESIDING MEMBER
 
…………Sd/-……………….
(VINAY KUMAR)
                                                                                            MEMBER
S./-
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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